Monthly Mentionables {September}

I had a baby this month!

Not just worth mentioning, but worth celebrating, I’d say.

While rocking our already unstable world, he is a precious gift whose only demands seem to be to be held, fed and held some more.  Though life is a bit of a blur right now, I’m trying to see through the fog to capture these mental pictures and special moments that are so fleeting.

So because of this new life that is shifting mine, this month may be a bit light (mainly because the time is ticking…my husband agreed to strap him on in our Moby wrap while he roasts coffee so I could sneak downstairs and write baby-less for a couple hours).


Here’s what I’ve been into this month:

Books:

Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland
As a trained actor, my husband has an entire shelf designated for books on faith and art. I plucked this one off the shelf one night in hopes of inspiration as a writer. Written by two different people, I definitely preferred one of the writers over the other, though the writers themselves were never identified.  That said, it was a quick read and offered many good thoughts for those in creative fields as they confront their fears of insignificance and inferiority and combat perfectionism in themselves.  This book is an optimistic cheerleader on the sidelines for those who are in need of a bit of a pep rally for themselves.


The Cloister Walk, by Kathleen Norris
My husband actually picked this one up from the library and thought I’d like it.  It has been my companion through the night vigils of nursing (at least after the initial first week of binge-watching the last season of Downton Abbey).  As we have been attending a liturgical church recently, I found this book about Ms. Norris spending many months at a monastery to be fascinating.  The format was a bit convoluted for me (which could be because I was reading it in a slightly hallucinatory state) and confusing to follow since it was a composite of essays she had published in various other publications.  It also seemed to be about 50 pages too long, but it was enjoyable enough that I stuck it out to the end.  My husband and I especially enjoyed her thoughts on celibacy and marriage and found a lot to discuss in those chapters.  I would recommend it if you are at all interested in the monastic life or are a life-long evangelical dipping your toes in liturgical life.


Podcasts


God Centered Mom
Connecting with Your Kids in Any Circumstance:: Jim & Lynn Jackson 

Stay in Your Hoop:: Vela Tomba

The Art of Nurturing Boys:: David Thomas


The Boob Group
(seriously!)  This was new to me, but has a lot of different great episodes on breastfeeding for the nursing mama!

Tongue Ties and Lip Ties: Symptoms, Treatment and Aftercare


Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach

What to do When You’re Unsure How to Begin

Your Writing Can Change the World


Pass the Mic
Current Events: Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher, and NMAAHC

A Pastoral Perspective on the 2016 Election


Pandora Stations I’m Enjoying:

Fernando Ortega

Josh Garrels

The Weepies


T.V. 
(Now that I’m nursing around the clock, I seem to have more time to watch T.V. in the wee hours of the night.)

This is Us
(tailor-made to fill the void left behind by Parenthood)



Thought-Provoking Articles from the Web:

Getting Hurt by the Church Doesn’t Mean You Should Abandon God, by Elizabeth Trotter for Relevant

I Am Not Labeled, I am Named, by Alia Joy for SheLoves Magazine

The Sugar-Coated Language of White Fragility, by Anna Kegler for Huffington Post

Stop the Revolution, Join the Plodders, by Kevin DeYoung for Ligonier Ministries

That Is Not My Jesus, by Travis Eades for Huffington Post

Yes, We’re Going to Talk about IT {The Grove: Sexuality}, for Velvet Ashes (this includes lots of links to great resources for those in all walks of life!)


For Fun:

Sleeping Baby Has No Idea She Becomes the Star of Cosplay During Her Naps 

Hilarious Parenting Comics, for Scary Mommy


Find Me Elsewhere:

The Best Years of Our Lives for the Mudroom

Falling Off the Missionary Pedestal for SheLoves Magazine


In Case You Missed it on Scraping Raisins:

The New Normal 

39 Weeks: These Strange Days 

~~~

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Linking up with Leigh Kramer: What I’m Into 

**This post includes affiliate links


Monthly Mentionables {August}


I’m a little over 38 weeks preggers, so that is much on my mind these days.  Yesterday it took me 20 minutes to walk a little under one mile, going at a steady pace.  I now outweigh my husband and my children can’t sit on my lap.  I’m ready to have a baby instead of a belly.

But in the midst of trying to keep cool and stay sane as I chase around two other little ones, I’ve enjoyed some really great books, have written out my angsty thoughts and listened to some new podcasts in the midst of sorting baby clothes and starting projects I usually don’t have the energy to finish.

I’d love to hear what you’re learning and being entertained by this month, so be sure to drop a note in the comments!

Next month’s mentionables post should include funny looking newborn baby pics…;-)


Books

Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith by D.L. Mayfield

Check out my review of this book here.  If you are involved in cross-cultural work of any kind, then this book is a must-read!







Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit: A Reflection on Creativity and Faith, by Luci Shaw

This was the first book I have read by Luci Shaw and I couldn’t put it down.  Along the lines of one of my favorite books of all time, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (Wheaton Literary Series), by Madeline L’Engle, Shaw reflects on the dissection of faith and art in such a beautiful and logical way.  It will be one of my new yearly reads, I am sure.  Very inspirational to those of us attempting to write or create.
 




Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin 

Okay, though I admit I definitely read more than one line aloud to my husband saying, “Listen to this–this is hilarious!” (usually about the “ecstasy of childbirth” or the woman’s “parts” being referred to as “the gates of life”) this is still my favorite book about natural childbirth.  This was a re-read for me in preparation for baby #3 coming in a few weeks.  What I love most is the way she discusses the mind-body connection and the way childbirth is considered as a natural, beautiful occurrence instead of a medical and scary one.


 
Podcasts

Beautiful Writers

I have binge-listened to this podcast all month.  Two women interview writers and others involved with the publishing business about how they work, what works for them and what they’ve learned over the years in the business.  My favorites were with Marianne Williamson and Seth Godin (though I seriously listened to more than half of them and enjoyed many!).


The Liturgists

#37 The Enneagram
(Just took the test for the Enneagram and I think I’m a 3. Hard to be an “Achiever” AND a pregnant mom of littles.)  This show, though probably the longest podcast I’ve ever listened to at two hours, is a great overview of what the Enneagram is if you have never heard of it before!


Global Mom Show

If I could host my own podcast, this would be it.  Love this idea and have gotten some great tips about books to read, fair trade clothing to buy and just a general outlook on life as a mom who hopes to raise kids who look past their own backyard.

Back to the Basics and Blog Posts (This gives a good overview of what this show is about!)

Fair Trade, Fashion and Global Girlfriends with Stacey Edgar

Books for Global Moms with Anne Bogel

Living Barefoot with Nancy Traversy



God Centered Mom

This podcast was also new to me this month and I LOVED it. Though I listened to at least six of these, these were my favorites:

Calmly Parenting the Strong-Willed Child with Kirk Martin

Debunking Spiritual Leadership Myths with Jen Wilkin  
 

Relief Journal

#3 D.L. Mayfield (author of the book I mentioned above, Assimilate or Go Home)

#1 Marilyn Chandler McEntyre


Recipes

Slow Cooker Carnitas (All Recipes)
This was so good and incredibly easy.  I copied some of the comments and put the meat in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 just to brown the meat a bit more after it had cooked. I also threw together a salsa made of chopped purple onion, garlic, cilantro, lime and tomatoes.  Add some shredded cheese and put in warm tortillas and you have an amazing meal.  LOVE easy food.


Zucchini Rice Gratin (Smitten Kitchen)

Our neighbor gave us a GIANT zucchini, so I was excited to find this recipe to put it to use (we only used about 1/6 of it!).  This could have used a bit more salt, but other than that it was really good.  We ate it with some Italian sausages and that really made it, I think.

Crock Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (Pinch of Yum)
I made the mistake of doubling this recipe, thinking I would be smart and save some soup for when the baby comes, but now I have about 4 extra containers in my freezer!  It was good, though a bit richer than I would have liked.  Next time I think I’ll use less butter and try it out with 1% milk instead of whole milk.  This will be a great soup for cold weather.


Thought-Provoking Articles from the Web

An Open Letter to the Parents of Well-Behaved Children, by Jillian Lauren for Huffington Post 

Children’s Books to Help Talk about Race with Kids 

Don’t Carpe Diem, by Glennon Doyle Melton for Huffington Post

How to Make Your Voice Sound Better So People Will Actually Listen to You, by Laura Vanderkam for Fast Company  (My hubby was interviewed for this article!)

My Lack of World-Changing Extracurriculars, by Megan Gahan for SheLoves

Pregnant with God, by Danielle Strickland for SheLoves

So you’re thinking of voting for a pro-choice candidate… by Rachel Held Evans at her blog

Ultimate Guide to Keeping Young Children with You at Church, at Living and Learning at Home

5 Actions White Educators Can Take to Help Make Schools Anti-Racist, by Jamie Utt for Everyday Feminism



Published Articles

I once was (color) blind, but now… for Altarwork

How Our Muslim Student Became Auntie Boo for SheLoves

In Case You Missed it at Scraping Raisins:
(Lots about pregnancy this month now that I’m in the final stretch–no pun intended…)

What My Pregnant Body is Teaching Me

When You Can’t Quit Your Job (a reflection on my time at the Simply Jesus conference I went to at the end of July)

 

The 37 Week Pep Talk for the (Scared) Waiting Mama

What have you been into this month?

***

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Previous Post:  A Fellow Failed Missionary {A Review of Assimilate or Go Home}

Next Post: 39 Weeks  ~ These Strange Days
 

Linking up with Leigh Kramer

 
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a book and buy it through Amazon, you will not be charged extra, but I will receive a very tiny commission.

Books, podcasts, recipes and articles I've loved this month!

Monthly Mentionables {July}

What a month. 

Doesn’t it feel a bit like fear is steering the ship? 

If you’ve forced your eyes, ears and heart open like I have in spite of longing to turn off the news, jump back in bed and binge on T.V., then you may be feeling like fear is delivering us straight into the darkness. 

But an image has helped me not to be overcome by hopelessness. Sitting on our back porch in the early hours of the morning recently, I re-read the familiar words of Psalm 139 about God searching me and knowing me, knowing when I sit and rise, etc.  But seemingly new words reached out from the page, grabbing my chin and speaking straight to my doubting face as David cried out to God:  

“Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.”

And it hit me: God sees in the dark.  

He does not stumble blindly, knock into the coffee table or stub his toe 

God has night vision. 

In fact, darkness is not even dark to Him, but is as bright as the day. We are never alone in the darkness.  Although we cannot see the way ahead, Someone is walking with us who can.

God has used some of the following books, podcasts and articles this month to encourage, challenge and grow me.  Many of them have been twinkling lights in the darkness.  I hope you find the time to click on some of the links and I’d love to read some of your recommendations in the comments section!
  


Books:


Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faithby Anne Lamott

This was my first Anne Lamott book that I picked up at our local Little Free Library.  Irreverent and honest, Anne invites her readers on a refreshing faith journey that does not hide the bumps and bruises she receives along the way.  Having attended churches full of squeaky clean Christians most of my life (and having been one myself), I appreciated having a peek behind the curtain at how Jesus meets with other sisters and brothers before they get all cleaned up (and even when they don’t). 
Brennan Manning does it again and manages to combine extensive research, deep spiritual truths, an incredible vocabulary and jarring images to present a message of grace lived out by a life of tested faith.  I loved the chapter titled “Artists, Mystics and Clowns” because of my husband’s background in acting and my love of writing, but thoroughly enjoyed the entire book as I absorbed short passages with coffee in the wee hours of the morning this month.





Podcasts:

A Mom’s Mission Field
This podcast was new to me this month.  The host, Tiffany Castleberry, brings on guests who do not believe that being a mom and following God’s call on your life are mutually exclusive.  I especially enjoyed the following episodes:

Flower Patch Farm Girl Blooms in the City: Shannan Martin 
I loved this interview with Shannan Martin and am looking forward to her new book coming out this fall called Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted.  She’ll also have an essay in this book full of other amazing writers called Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption by Emily P. Freeman, Sarah Bessey, Trillia Newbell and more, edited by Cara Sexton.

A Sweaty Conversation about Racial Reconciliation: Retha Nichole and Emily Thomas
Such a great conversation between two white women and an African American woman about race relations following the shootings earlier this month.

Following Your God Dreams while Raising a Family: Tricia Goyer
This was the first episode I listened to of this podcast and I loved the way the women talked about following God’s calling on your life in the midst of raising a family. 


Code Switch: Race and Identity, remixed
Extra: No Words (reflecting on the shootings of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and the 5 policeman in Dallas)


Pass the Mic
I discovered this podcast the day after I published this popular post on race resources for white people and I really wish I had included it in the list! What I appreciate about this podcast is that not only are the hosts completely candid about discussing race in our country, they also come at it from the perspective of how a Jesus follower should learn and move forward when it comes to race issues in our country. Here were a few episodes that were especially helpful in filling in blanks for me:


Defining White Privilege

Defining Systemic Racism

Roundtable: How to Be a White Ally

Real Hurt, Real Hope: Racial Tension and Perseverance (reflecting on the shootings of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and the 5 policeman in Dallas)


Shalom in the City with Osheta Moore
#14 Seeking Shalom for the Immigrant
Loved this interview with a woman married to a man from Guatemala and her experience working in immigration in America.

#16 Everyday Practices of Peace for the Homeless
If you’ve ever interacted with homeless people or are have questions about how we should think about homelessness in America, this interview with a woman who has worked in homeless ministries and public health for 20 years is a great source of further education in this area.


Village Church Sermons
Justice and Racial Reconciliation (from the week of the shootings of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and the 5 policeman in Dallas)
This panel discussion was healing balm to my soul after that rough week.  I’m thankful for Jesus followers who are not afraid to have the hard conversations.


What Should I Read Next? with Anne Bogel
#31 Lifetime Favorite Books and reading for a living with Adam Verner
Everyone should listen to this episode featuring my hubby, audio book narrator, Adam Verner!  I’ve listened to Anne’s podcast since January and it dawned on me that my husband would be the PERFECT guest since he’s an audio book narrator and devours books even when he’s not working. He had a great conversation with Anne that I know you’ll love (though I’m slightly biased);-).


(No New Recipes This Month…did I mention that I’m 8 months pregnant…?)


Thought-Provoking Articles from the Web:

A Letter to My Son, (an African American man’s letter to his son), by Rev. Otis Moss III for Huffington Post

A Week from Hell, by Charles M. Blow for The NY Times

Delayed Kindergarten Enrollment Dramatically Reduces ADHD in Children, Study Shows for The Inquisitr  

Lacrae: Humility is the Key to Understanding Race Relations: Guest Essay, by Lecrae for Billboard 

[Love Looks Like] Choices, by Sarah Bessey

Misogyny in Missions, by Jonathan Trotter for A Life Overseas

My Husband Isn’t Called to Ministry, by Cara Meredith for Christianity Today

The Truth of Loneliness, by Liz Ditty for The Mudroom 

Verge Network 7 Part Series on Racial Justice

White Fragility: Why Its So Hard to Talk to White People about Racism, by Dr. Robin Diangelo for The Good Men Project

The 5 Truths Stay-at-Home and Working Moms Can Agree on, by Katelyn Beaty for Her.Menutics

10 Ways to Live Well, by Amy Young for SheLoves Magazine
 
38 Resources to Help Your Church Start Discussing Race Today by Missio Alliance 


Just for fun (language alert!)  

God Makes Animals (these are the types of things my husband finds on the Internet)



New (to me) Websites and Blogs:

Good Black News
This site is pretty self-explanatory and shares wonderful things that are happening in the African American community.  For example, this article mentioning that some black women will be acting in the movie adaptation of one of my favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time.

Reformed African American American Network
Along with offering the podcast, Pass the Mic, that I mentioned above, this site is a treasure trove of resources on race relations in America.

White Allies in Training
This site offers a ton of resources for white people looking for more information about racism and how they can be involved in being a bridge towards reconciliation in America.

A Life with Subtitles (blog for Sarah Quezada)
I heard about Sarah on this podcast about marrying an immigrant and working in immigration and ran straight over to her blog. This is a great blog for anyone working, living or loving in a cross-cultural setting. 

D.L. Mayfield (personal blog)
I am currently reading her book, Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith (due to be released in August), and really enjoying it!  More on that later;-)  I absolutely love her wry and honest writing style and can really relate to so much of what she writes about as she worked for years with refugees in America.


In Case You Missed it on Scraping Raisins:

70+ Race Resources for White People 
It’s time.  

Maybe you read a news article on your Facebook feed or listened to a podcast and feel it’s time for you to finally DO something about the injustices in our nation.  

Perhaps it is time for that.   

But our African American sisters and brothers have asked that before we speak, we be sure that we have done something else first: educate ourselves...” continue reading    




I once was (color) blind, but now…
As white people, we brag that we are “colorblind” and congratulate ourselves for being inclusive and tolerant. Because we don’t actively hate, abuse or reject those of another color personally, we would never call ourselves “racists.” We say we see everyone as the same and silently assume that everyone, deep down, is like us.


But as we boast that we are colorblind, what we are blind to is that color really does matter. People are treated certain ways simply because of the color of their skin.

My journey toward sight began as all breakdowns of prejudice inevitably must: through a relationship…” continue reading




A Muslim in Our Home
Perhaps the only difference between our Fourth and yours was that we spent ours with a devout Muslim who is currently living in our home, a close friend whom our children call “Auntie Boo.”  She lived with us for a year in Chicago and is now staying with us for a month after recently finishing her studies in Denver.  We invited her to celebrate the 4th of July at my parent’s house a few hours away in the middle of the Rocky Mountains…”  continue reading…   

 
~~~

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a book and buy it through Amazon, you will not be charged extra, but I will receive a very tiny commission.

 

70+ Race Resources for White People

70+ Race Resources for White People

It’s time.  

Maybe you read a news article on your Facebook feed or listened to a podcast and feel it’s time for you to finally DO something about the injustices in our nation.  

Perhaps it is time for that.   

But our African American sisters and brothers have asked that before we speak, we be sure that we have done something else first: educate ourselves.     

Its not the job of the African American community to teach white people about racism, so we must intentionally and humbly lean in, listen and learn how white culture is killing black lives.  Specifically, they want us to grasp our role in the visible and invisible structures that are threatening to crush them.  


The following list of resources is far from exhaustive, but will serve as a springboard for those who want to learn more about racism in America right now. Most of the resources are current and ones I’ve run across in the past six months, but do not include news events or historical documents.  

Though Ive read all the articles and listened to the podcasts in this post, I’m still working my way through the list of books, all of which come highly recommended by others.  Please add additional resources in the comments section of this post.   

 

 

70+ Race Resources for White People

 

Podcasts

The Liturgists 
Episode 34–Black & White: Racism in America 
(If you only have time to listen to one podcast from this list, I would recommend this one.  It’s nearly two hours, but it’s so packed with insight that you’ll want to listen again.) 

Code Switch: Race and Identity, Remixed 
Can We Talk about Whiteness? 

On Being (with Krista Tippet)  
Michelle Alexander–Who We Want to Become: Beyond the New Jim Crow

John A. Powell: Opening the Question of Race to the Question of Belonging 

The Practice 
Stories of Resurrection in Race 

Seminary Dropout 
Austin Channing Brown 

Deidra Riggs on Women of Color Writers, the Church, and More
 
Jo Saxton on Post-Christendom, Discipleship, and Being a Woman of Color
 
Michelle Higgins on That Sermon at Urbana (Here is the talk that this is about: Michelle Higgins) 

This American Life
Part I:  The Problem We All Live With 


Part II:  The Problem We All Live Wit

(On segregation/integration in schools.) 

Videos:

Michelle Higgins, Urbana 2015  

How Parents Talk to Their African American Sons about Police

  

On the Web:

Talking to Our Kids about Race: 

How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism 

Like Me, Like You Kids 
A place to buy toys and decorative items for kids that reflect diversity. From the site: “Our hope is to curate beautiful products that allow children of color to see themselves in the art, books and toys they interact with daily. We also hope that children of all shades would grow up appreciating the gift of diversity – like me, like you.”
 
Raising Race Conscious Children 

12 Books Featuring Black Fathers (for all ages)

28 Black Picture books that Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball

50+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families 

In the Church:

Why Jesus’ Skin Color Matters, by Christena Cleveland for Christianity Today

It’s Not a Multicultural Church if… by Starlette McNeill at Raceless Gospel 

When Christians Won’t Say #BlackLivesMatter by Kevin Wright at Huffpost

Understanding White Privilege:

How White Privilege Affects 8 People of Color on a Day-to-Day Basis, by Paige Tutt for Bustle 

I’m White, but I Married the Son of a Black History Icon–And This is What I Discovered about Color, by Cara Meredith at For Every Mom  

On a Plate: A Short Story about Privilege   

The Problem with Saying ‘All Lives Matter,’ by Tyler Huckabee for Relevant Magazine 

When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression, by Chris Boeskool for Huffington Post 

White Privilege, Explained in One Simple Comic (language alert!)

White Privilege: Lessons from a White Mama of Black Children by Christy Richardson at Elephant Journal 

White Privilege and What We’re Supposed to Do About It, by Kristen Howerton at her blog, Rage Against the Minivan

**White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh  
(This checklist is used all over the country in college classes to teach about white privilege). 

Black Womanhood:

The Recipe: A Reflection on Black Womanhood by Austin Channing Brown at her blog 

4 Things ‘LEMONADE’ Teaches Us About Black Womanhood by Courtney Hall Lee at Sojo.net

White Fragility:

Why White People Freak Out When They’re Called Out About Race, by Sam Adler-Bell for Alternet

“Dear White People, I wish you knew…”

The Heartbreaking Reality of Raising Black Children in America, by Jacalyn Wetzel for the Huffington Post

I Used to Lead Tours at a Plantation. You Won’t Believe the Questions I Got about Slavery., by Margaret Biser for Vox

On Race, Rights & Raising a Black Son: An Interview with Rachel Yantis at Scraping Raisins

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Why White Moms Need to Care about Murdered Black Children, by Danielle S 

Ten Things White People Need to Quit Saying, by Melody Moezzi for Huffington Post  

To the White Parents of My Black Son’s Friends, by Maralee 

What You Can Do:

70+ Race Resources for White People

 
One Small Square, by Lisha Epperson for The Mudroom  (The Mudroom did an entire series on race in June of 2016 that was fabulous.) 

What You Can Do Right Now About Police Brutality, by Ijeoma Oluo for Huff Post Blog  

The Case for Reparations, by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic 

Ok, White Folks, Here’s What You Can Really Do to Help, by Pastor Jonathan Brooks 

The Ugly Truth about Diversity at Scraping Raisins

Books

A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America

Between the World and Me

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America 

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Let Nobody Turn Us Around: An African American Anthology

More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (Issues of Our Time)  

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race
 
 
People/Blogs to Follow on Twitter or Facebook:

These voices–both white and people of color–are bravely speaking out about racism in our country.  If you subscribe to their blogs, follow them on Twitter or “like” their pages on Facebook, then you’ll be sure to always be kept abreast of the latest that is going on in the African American community.

*active on Twitter

**active on Facebook 

**A Musing Maralee

Austin Channing Brown

*Broderick Greer  

*Shay Stewart-Boulay/Black Girl in Maine

Danielle S/Mamademics

Deidra Riggs

Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil

Drew G. I. Hart  

*Jasmine Banks 

Jennifer/Baby Making Machine  

Jo Saxton

Jon Greenberg

Judy Wu Dominick 

**Kristen Howerton/Rage Against the Minivan

Lisha Epperson

**Latasha Morrison

 
Online Journals:

Ebony

Huff Post Black Voices

The Root

Find a long list of news sources here

Facebook Group:

Be the Bridge  (also a website)


Additional Lists of Resources:

Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–From Ferguson to Charleston 

Racial Reconciliation Resources (from First Free Church, Chicago) 

This list barely scratches the surface of the resources available, but I hope that these passionate voices will start you on your journey toward self-education in matters of race and racism

Feel overwhelmed by the vastness of the problem? 

It helps to remember that though the nation is a quilt of many squares, you are only responsible to do your part in toppling racism by “tending to your one small square“–that corner of the world God has placed you in for such a time as this (Lisha Epperson).   

~~~

Subscribe to Scraping Raisins by email and/or follow me on Twitter and Facebook. I’d love to get to know you better!

~~~

Next Posts: I once was (color) blind, but now…

Mourning and the Duty to Delight 

Previous Post: A Muslim in Our Home

Related Posts:

31 Days of #WOKE

The Ugly Truth about Diversity

On Race, Rights & Raising a Black Son: An Interview with Rachel Yantis 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a book and buy it through Amazon, you will not be charged extra, but I will receive a very tiny commission.

~~~

 

  

Monthly Mentionables {April}

April was a month filled with fabulous books, podcasts, recipes, and articles that stretched me and gave me much to think about. My husband, Adam, will be chiming in on the book and podcast section.  Be sure to read to the end for some surprises…

Books


Leslie read:

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  It is the true tale of an African American lawyer in the south fighting for rights of death row inmates who were unjustly incarcerated.  Though it is non-fiction, it reads more like fiction as Stevenson draws you into the stories of the men and women he has met on his journey as an attorney.  This book illuminates the racial injustices that are happening not during slavery or the early 1900’s, but RIGHT NOW.  It proves that we are not in post-racial times, but still living in the midst of rash injustice.  Please read it. 

 

The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
I read this in the mornings this month as a devotional.  Like his other books, Manning draws you up into his love affair with Jesus through his poetic words and vulnerability.  It is a very quick read and I’d recommend using it as a companion to your daily Bible reading.  Beautiful words from a beautiful soul.  


The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy & ‘Women’s Work’ by Kathleen Norris
This was a quick read and in a monastic way Norris aids the reader in extracting spiritual meaning from menial chores and simple daily living.  She says: “We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were.” And another quote that summarizes her ideas is: “I have come to believe that the true mystics of the quotidian are not those who contemplate holiness in isolation, reaching godlike illumination in serene silence, but those who manage to find God in a life filled with noise, the demands of other people and relentless daily duties that can consume the self.”

Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging by Marylin Gardner
This was my night stand reading this month since each chapter was only a page or two and told a brief sketch of her thoughts about living “between worlds” in Pakistan, Egypt and the U.S. Having lived overseas myself, I could identify with some of her feelings of grief over leaving a  land you love and confusion about identity.  This is a lovely book that dives into deep subjects without making you feel that you are underwater.

Adam read:


The Stand by Stephen King
So, I (Adam) have this condition called popularity aversion.  I’m allergic to hype, as it were.  This means if something is popular I tend to avoid it and look down my snooty little nose.  Despite being a lifelong SciFi and fantasy fan, I have never read Harry Potter, and I read Game of Thrones back in the 90s when it was cool and no one knew about it, darn it.  All this to say I’ve avoided Stephen King my whole life.  Surely any writer that prolific with books cramming the airport book seller’s stands must be low brow and common.  As I age and slowly pull on the mantle of wisdom (and aching joints), however, I’m trying to let this go.  So – The Stand.  I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, and The Stand is one of the only novels in this genre I haven’t read, and I finally decided to give it a chance.  It’s great!  A bit long at 1200 pages, but worth it.  He knows how to spin a yarn, and his characters have depth and reality.


Podcasts

Leslie’s podcasts:

This was the month of podcasts, as you’ll see.  I feel the need to explain how I managed to listen to so many (and thus prove I wasn’t shirking all my other duties).  Here’s when I listened: in the shower (if they speak loud enough–thank you, Megan Tietz), while doing laundry, cooking dinner, picking up toys, driving (I got some good listening in when I drove around the mountains for two hours while my kids napped on the way home from the zoo), while getting ready in the morning and while cleaning. 
 
The Liturgists:
Episode 34–Black & White: Racism in America
This is the most important podcast I’ve ever listened to.  At an hour and a half, it takes some time, but it is completely worth it.  In it, two white guys and two African Americans candidly discuss the race issue in America in a way that lays out the problem in a very articulate, real and honest way.

On Being:
Nadia Bolz-Weber–Seeing the Underside and Seeing God
Nadia was one of the keynote speakers at a recent writing conference I didn’t get to go to, so I read many of her quotes on Twitter and admired her from afar.  I was excited to this podcast interview.  First of all, as a former comedian, she is hilarious.  And she is exactly the kind of out-of-the-box Jesus follower that reminds you that you are following a God become flesh and bone.  She is witty, honest, real and refreshing.   

The Practice:
This was a new podcast for me that I found mainly because I wanted to hear Sarah Bessey speak.  More than just a podcast, you find yourself entering into Jesus’ presence as you are invited into this community’s worship service.  It had me weeping more than once this month.  I have really loved the following episodes so far:
Stories of Resurrection in Religion: Sarah Bessey
Stories of Resurrection in Race: David Bailey
Seven Practices for Sabbath Keeping: Rabbi Evan Moffic

Restory:
Because of my own story of coming home from China, I loved this podcast about Amy Young and her story of returning to the U.S. after 20 years in China.

Seminary DropOut:
This one was new to me and I am absolutely loving it so far.  Austin Channing Brown shared about how she got into racial activism and Shane Claiborne talked about radical living for Jesus.  I’m looking forward to delving into the archives to hear more. 

Gospel in Life (Timothy Keller):
March 21, Doing Justice & Mercy
You’ll notice I’m listening to a lot of fringy-type Jesus followers these days and dipping my toes into some social activism, so I listened to this one to include some more mainstream evangelical thought into the mix.  He says, “It’s grace that turns us into someone who does justice.” This was a very biblical and inspirational sermon on justice and mercy.
 
Also listening to: The Simple Show, Sorta Awesome, World Citizen Podcast, What Should I Read Next? and Anne Kroeker Writing Coach, Shalom in the City

Adam’s podcasts:

Radio Lab:
Debatable
A great episode about the state of debate in the college scene, race, gender, and underdogs vs. top dogs.

Arrvls:
In the Left Pocket by my Heart
A touching piece about the loss of a child.

Snap Judgement:
Fall Guy 
A series of vignettes, “Nellie’s Pond” is an incredible example of story telling.

Love and Radio
Bride of the Sea
A half Irish half Libyan tells his story of fighting in the Libyan revolution.  


New-to-me Recipes:

Spring Roll Bowls (Pinch of Yum)
This was really delicious, though a bit time-consuming to make, as I’m finding many of the Cookie + Kate recipes tend to be.  It was very light and tasty and my kids even ate it!

Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas (Cookie + Kate) with Homemade Enchilada Sauce
I made this last night and went with the cauliflower instead of broccoli since broccoli in enchiladas just seemed to cross too many lines.  I was feeling ambitious and decided to make her sauce as well, which was fantastic and only took about 15 minutes while the veggies were sauteing.  I doubled it and froze the rest for later.  Though it took almost an hour total to make (20 minutes in the oven), it was very tasty and I will definitely make it again.

~~~

Didn’t try as many new recipes this month since we were pretty busy, but I did have 4 ladies over for a dinner party when my husband was out of town.  We each made a recipe from the spring recipe list on the food blog Smitten Kitchen (well, some of us deviated, but it was a suggestion, not a requirement).  Here’s what we tried:

Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms (Smitten Kitchen)
My friend, YeJee, made these for our appetizer and they were really amazing.  Swimming in butter, they were certainly a treat fit for a ladies night!

Garlicky Party Bread with Cheese & Herbs (Smitten Kitchen)
I made this bread and while it tasted good, we had a hard time getting it off the loaf, so I ended up just cutting it into squares.  Because of that, it may not be the best for a party.  But my kids and I enjoyed the leftovers heated up in the microwave later! 

Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta & Mint (Smitten Kitchen)
My friend, Jessica, made this one and it was sooooo good.  She said she substituted red pepper flakes for harissa since she couldn’t find that and it had a really nice kick to it.

Spring Panzanella (Smitten Kitchen)
I made this one and I really wasn’t a fan.  I’d skip it.

Rhubarb Snacking Cake (Smitten Kitchen)
My friend, Melinda, made this and it was a very nice, light dessert.  It would make for a great coffee cake if you have guests over.

Spicy Thai Chicken and Quinoa (Pinch of Yum)
This is my favorite recipe this month.  I ended up using it as the entree for our dinner party since we had a last-minute cancellation and I had all the ingredients on hand.  It fulfills all of my food hopes and dreams: healthy, simple and delicious!


Articles (on race, ethics, culture and spirituality):

Creating with the Creator {how to start writing with God} by Elizabeth Trotter at her blog

Good Mom by Shannan Martin at her blog

Immigrants Explain What Shocked Them about American Culture by Serena Solomon at vice.com

It’s Not a Multicultural Church if… by Starlette McNeill at Raceless Gospel

My Low-Pressure Approach to Cultivating Intimacy with God by Elizabeth Trotter at her blog

Raising Race Conscious Children–a site dedicated to this topic with many resources

The Recipe: A Reflection on Black Womanhood by Austin Channing Brown at her blog

This is Infertility at In Due Time

When Christians Won’t Say #BlackLivesMatter by Kevin Wright at Huffpost

White Privilege: Lessons from a White Mama of Black Children by Christy Richardson at Elephant Journal

40 Ways to Go Greener at Home by Tsh Oxenreider at her blog

4 Things ‘LEMONADE’ Teaches Us About Black Womanhood by Courtney Hall Lee at Sojo.net


Leslie Published this month:

The Cult of Calling for A Life Overseas

I Was a Stranger, Extravagantly Loved for SheLoves Magazine

When Life is Less Radical Than You Imagined for The Mudroom


Scraping Raisins Posts 
(in case you missed them)  It was a very “listy” month;-)

3 Things Helping Me Right Now as a Mother

Surviving the Culture Shock of Motherhood

21 Ways to Live Counter-culturally

9 Things I’ve Learned in 6 Months of Writing 

Family News:

So this happened:

Then this:

And now we’re getting ready for this:

Seemed worth mentioning;-)  So stay tuned for the posts about minivans and thoughts on having three children

We’re excited!

~~~

Previous Post: Are You Afraid to Speak Up? {Thursday Thoughts for Writers}

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April was a month filled with fabulous books, podcasts, recipes, and articles that stretched me and gave me much to think about.

Online Resources for Bloggers & Writers {Thursday Thoughts for Writers}

The following are resources I have come across in the past several months that aid writers and bloggers in their craft.

The following are resources I have come across in the past several months that aid writers and bloggers in their craft.  Since my blog is not monetary, this list is mainly geared towards simple blogging and those needing a bit of encouragement as a writer.  I’ll be updating it periodically, so bookmark this page for future reference!

Blogs about Writing:

Jeff Goins
A blog with tons of ideas, tips and inspirational posts about becoming a better, more productive writer.

Writer’s Edit: The Literary Magazine
This site is full of tips and resources for writers.  If you follow them on Twitter, they often post great quotes about writing!

Podcasts for writers and bloggers:

Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach
This link will take you to her blog, podcast and coaching business.  I’ve been binge-listening to the podcast because each one is only 3 to 7 minutes long and she offers some helpful tips on writing.

The Creative Penn 
Joanna Penn offers resources on how to write, publish and edit your book.  Though I’m not writing a book, I still found this podcast to be relevant as a writer.

The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins
Goins provides inspiring ideas for developing professionally and personally as a writer. 

How They Blog
Although the last episode for this podcast aired in 2014, I am still finding the information to be very useful as a blogger.  I especially enjoyed episode 33 with Anne Bogel (whose podcast, What Should I Read Next is also fantastic) and episode 30 on the fundamentals of becoming a better writer.

Podcasts related to creatives:

The Accidental Creative
I listened to the episode “10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Podcasts” and really enjoyed hearing about what he has learned over the years.

Magic Lessons, with Elizabeth Gilbert
I especially loved the first two episodes of this podcast, so I would definitely start there.  It was very encouraging to me as an intrepid new writer to just get started doing what I knew I needed to do. 

Websites for Images:

Pixabay
I’m not a photographer, so this is where I usually get the images for my blog.  They have over 620,000 stock images that are free and within the copyright laws of Creative Commons.   

Canva
This is my favorite site for creating blog titles and twitter and Pinterest images.  The images are limited, so first download an image from pixabay, upload it to canva and then add your title.

Picmonkey
If I do happen to take my own photo, this is a very user-friendly site for free photo editing and creating collages.


Helpful Articles:

15 Ways to Avoid Blogger Burnout, by Pinch of Yum blog
Though this is from a food blog (with amazing recipes, by the way), this article applies to all bloggers.  It gave me some great ideas on setting boundaries.

Why It’s Kind of Okay If No One Reads Your Blog, by Rebecca K. Reynolds
I mentioned this article in a previous Thursday Thoughts for Writers post as one that liberated me from feeling like I had to share everything with the world for the sake of authenticity.

In Which I am Retiring “In Which” and a Few Other Decisions About Blogging, by Sarah Bessey
Love this:  “Chill out. Write what I want, when I want, and hang the rest of it. I still believe down deep that good content trumps click-bait titles and free graphics.”  This is also a timely post if you feel close to burn out!

Groups:

The Peony Project (Facebook Group)
A space for women who love Jesus, love blogging and love community.  This is a fantastic group of women and I have learned a ton from being a part of this group.

~~~

What other resources can you add to this?  Drop a comment below or send me a personal message and if it’s relevant, I’ll add it to the list!

~~~




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Last Post: What Activates Your Soul?
Next Post: Surviving the Culture Shock of Motherhood

 

On Thursdays this year, I’ll share thoughts, tips and inspiration for writers.  I’m certainly not an expert, but am simply seeking personal encouragement in this art and want to share with anyone who’s also trying to find their way as a writer.  These short posts will come from books, articles, the Bible, my own thoughts, and other people.  Subscribe in the upper right corner so that you don’t miss a post.  If you’re new to the series, find all the posts here.  Come meet me in the comments–I’d love to read your thoughts on writing.


Happy writing!

Leslie

The following are resources I have come across in the past several months that aid writers and bloggers in their craft.

9 Things I’ve Learned in 6 Months of Writing {Thursday Thoughts for Writers}

9 Things I've Learned in 6 Months of Writing~ I've been writing consistently now for the past six months and I wanted to spend this post (my 97th!) just reflecting on this journey so far as a writer (as every teacher who's ever assigned a "reflection" can appreciate).  Here are few things I've learned along the way.

This post is for me.  But I’ll let you in on my thoughts if you promise to share some of your journey after reading this.

I started this blog over two years ago, but had exactly zero page views–because I told no one about its existence.  I stopped after a few posts.  It wasn’t until I had words that were burning holes in my soul two years later that I dusted the ole blog off again to link it up with another site.  It was terrifying–and exhilarating–to have words I wrote be read by others.  But it wasn’t until I jumped in to the write 31 days challenge that I really flexed my muscles as a writer.  And after 31 days straight of writing, I couldn’t imagine it not being a part of my life anymore.  

I’ve been writing consistently now for the past six months and I’m spending this post (my 97th!) reflecting on this journey so far as a writer (as every teacher who’s ever assigned a “reflection” can appreciate).  Here are few things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Blogging is a unique style of writing.  Blogging is perfect for the lazy reader. It’s more conversational and casual.  It defies all the rules you learned in English class.  For example:  Writing.like.this.for.dramatic.effect.  Bolding random lines. Writing lists like “9 Things I’ve Learned in 6 Months of Writing.”  And using fragments. Or one word sentences that get their own space.

Naturally.

2. Writing is not a means to an end.  Writing is an end in and of itself.  Writing, like running, has become therapeutic for me.  There have been moments in the past six months where I have literally written out my anger, loneliness and frustration and gotten up from my chair feeling like I had molded those emotions into something more beautiful and useful.  I’m finding that I’m not writing to publish or to get X number of “likes” or follows (and certainly not to make money), but because I love writing and it gets my inner gears turning in ways I can’t even explain yet. 

3. I share much more in my blog posts than I do with people face-to-face.  Although I’m an extrovert, I’m more private than I realize because some of my close friends have read more about me in the past six months than I shared with them in a year of in-person friendship.  I like hiding behind words.  It is terrifying to accept new friends on Facebook who don’t know about my writing because they will have a doorway to my heart.  Honestly, I would rather write for strangers than for friends and peers.

4. You have to let go of control when you share your words on the Internet.  Once I hit publish, I have no more say over who can take my words and share them on any social media platform they choose.  Though I haven’t had any posts “go viral,” I have experienced a spike in numbers of a certain posts that have left me pondering the fact that some stranger somewhere is sharing my heart words with people I don’t know.  It’s flattering, but also unnerving if I think too much about it.

5. I constantly question how much self-promoting I need to do and it never stops feeling kind of icky.  I usually share to my personal Facebook page once a week, but share every post several times on Twitter.  I make myself feel better about this by telling myself that people only have to click on the link if they want to.  Many blogs host link-ups, blog hops or blog parties where you can link your blog, but have to comment on one or two others.  If I did this every day, it would take up every minute of actual writing time for me, so I’ve found the next point to be a better way to get my blog out there.

6.  I appreciate the challenge of attempting to get work published.  Since January, I’ve submitted several articles for publishing.  A few have been published and even more have been sent back.  The ones that weren’t published, I’ve usually re-read and wondered what I was thinking to have even tried to get them published.  In most cases, I’ve reworked them and made them better than before.  So lately, I’m relieved if I get an acceptance, but with the caveat of “but would you mind working on this some more?”  I’m thankful for the second chance to polish up my rough drafts that seem more rough from a distance than the day I first hit “send.”

7. God is so pleased that I am using this gift.  I know it sounds arrogant to put words in God’s mouth, but  I can’t tell you how many supernatural winks, nudges, smiles and hand-squeezes I’ve felt over the past six months of writing.  Like the probably overused quote about Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure,” I can honestly say that that’s how I feel when I write.

8.  I wouldn’t be writing if it weren’t for my husband.  I’m thankful to have a husband who has not only an appreciation for the arts, but a real love for them.  With a bachelors in theatre and a masters in acting, if there’s anyone who understands doing something you love without hope of monetary compensation, he does.  Since I started this venture, he has been my cheerleader, proofreader and greatest fan.  I would have talked myself out of writing long before now if it weren’t for his encouraging words and support.

9. My world is wider, my friendships deeper and my soul more attuned to God’s work in the world now that I am writing.  I have met people I never would have known existed were we not bumping along the same roads of the Internet highway.  They have enriched my life.  And though I have often chosen to write instead of calling a friend, the new friends I meet can get to know me at a much deeper level more quickly by reading my blog.  And finally, as a writer, I am more aware of the metaphors, symbols and details in daily life than I have ever been before.  I now walk through life with ears straining, eyes open and my mind ready to receive whatever God wants to show me. 

~~~

I’m sure Ill think of 10 more things to add to this list as soon as I hit “publish,” but I’ll leave it at this for now.  If you are a writer and/or blogger, what have you learned through the months or years you have spent writing that you wouldn’t have learned otherwise?  How have you grown?  And do you have any advice to give me as an amateur writer?  I’d love to hear it!

~~~

Don’t miss a post!  Subscribe for emails and follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Last Post:  3 Things Helping Me Right Now as a Mother

9 Things I've Learned in 6 Months of Writing~ I've been writing consistently now for the past six months and I wanted to spend this post (my 97th!) just reflecting on this journey so far as a writer (as every teacher who's ever assigned a "reflection" can appreciate).  Here are few things I've learned along the way.
On Thursdays this year, I’ll share thoughts, tips and inspiration for writers.  I’m certainly not an expert, but am simply seeking personal encouragement in this art and want to share with anyone who’s also trying to find their way as a writer.  These short posts will come from books, articles, the Bible, my own thoughts, and other people.  Subscribe in the upper right corner so that you don’t miss a post.  If you’re new to the series, find all the posts here.  Come meet me in the comments–I’d love to read your thoughts on writing.


Happy writing!

                     Leslie 

I've been writing consistently now for the past six months and I wanted to spend this post (my 97th!) just reflecting on this journey so far as a writer (as every teacher who's ever assigned a "reflection" can appreciate).  Here are few things I've learned along the way.



 

(My and My Husband’s) Media Discoveries in 2015: Blogs, Podcasts, Apps, Books and T.V.

My smart and talented husband, Adam, agreed to join me in this post to add a more cool/geeky side to my reflective/analytical recommendations of what we have been reading and listening to this year.  We weren't sure if all of these were discoveries for us in 2015, but they were definitely a part of our lives this year.

My smart and talented husband, Adam, agreed to join me in this post to add a more cool/geeky side to my reflective/analytical recommendations of what we have been reading and listening to this year.  We weren’t sure if all of these were discoveries for us in 2015, but they were definitely a part of our lives this year.  Please introduce yourself in the comments below and leave us some new recommendations for 2016, we’d love it!

BLOGS
I just joined the blogging world in August of 2015, which is certainly not the solitary endeavor that I once thought.  Before I started a blog, I could have probably named two blogs off the top of my head, but I have had the privilege of reading hundreds over the past few months.  Here are a few that I’m loving (that are not new to blog lovers, I’m sure):

Spiritual/lifestyle blogs:
Sarah Bessey.  Sarah is my new best friend (she just doesn’t know it yet).  She has this way of writing that speaks to your soul. 
Shelly Miller: Redemption’s Beauty.  Shelley now lives in London with her family.  Her photos are incredible.  She started the Sabbath Society, which is a group of hundreds of women who are committed to observing the Sabbath each week.
My Daily Bread and Butter.  I found Devi through writing #Write31Days this year as we were both writing a series on transition (but she was transitioning from Sweden to Australia).  Her poignant words are heartfelt and poetic and I think I now count her as my first virtual friend.
Modern Mrs. Darcy.  For a book-lover, this site is a must-read.  This is a very new one to me, but I was excited to find a site that is dedicated to books.
The Messy Middle.  Okay, I’m pretty sure I didn’t discover Amy Young’s blog this year, but as I have started writing more, I have appreciated it more than ever before.  I love her perspective on life and how intentional and honest she is in her posts.  
Life of a Pilgrim. This is one of the most amazing stories I have been a part of praying for all year.  If you want to cry every post, then follow along as Katherine blogs about her journey after her child was given a terminal diagnosis early on in her pregnancy (this links to one of the early posts, but I couldn’t find the first one).

Food Blogs:  Cookie and Kate (whole foods and vegetarian recipes) and Pinch of Yum.  Both of these sites have healthy, delicious food and I have made several recipes from each.

ONLINE JOURNALS:
For Christian women:  
SheLoves and (In)Courage

For Expats/Cross-cultural Perspectives:
Velvet Ashes
A Life Overseas
Rocky Reentry
Taking Route

The Blogs Adam Reads:
Kottke.org
Boing Boing
Damn Interesting
Astronomy Pic of the Day 
Space.com 
Wired 
Slate.com

BOOKS
Check out my post on my favorite books from 2015 here and my husband’s at his blog here.  Mine have a definite memoir/historical fiction/spiritual narrative slant and his have a science/science fiction slant, so combined, you could become a very well-balanced reader!

PODCASTS
This is probably my weakest category as I haven’t joined the Podcast craze yet, but I did listen to Serial this year on our overnight drives between Colorado and Chicago.  And I just recently started listening to the podcast, Sorta Awesome, because it was mentioned by several bloggers I’m following.  Other than that, I wanted to put a plug in for the podcast, Sexy Marriage Radio, which all married couples should listen to for some really great discussions on married sex. 

Adam, on the other hand, is definitely that person you know who starts sentences with, “I heard on this Podcast…”  Annoyingly smart and one of those people who remembers everything he reads and hears, podcasts are just fuel for his knack for trivia.  

Here are some of his recommendations for podcasts:
RadioLab, This American Life, Reply All, Mystery Show, Reveal, Lore, Surprisingly Awesome, Snap Judgement, Arrvls, StartUp, Note to Self, Love and Radio, 99% Invisible, Hidden Brain

PHONE APPS
I have been in the Smartphone world less than two years, so I’m probably the last person to recommend apps to anyone, but for what it’s worth, here are the apps on my Android phone right now:  

YouVersion, Gas Guru, Maps, Pandora, Pocket Casts, Feedly (for viewing multiple blogs), Pocket (for saving articles), our public library app, Audible, Kindle, White Noise Free, Goodreads,
Skype, BBC News, CNN news, Line Dictionary (Chinese/English Dictionary), Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram 

Adam’s Apps:
He has many of the same ones I do, but also uses:  Flipboard (for viewing news), Play Newstand, Quora, Dropbox, and Adblock Browser


T.V. 
This was not a year for movies for us since we go to the theater about four times a year and are usually too tired to watch more than a 45 minute T.V. show in the evenings.  We really enjoyed watching Orphan Black (on Amazon) and Blacklist (Netflix).  We also watched Madame Secretary, but weren’t really in love with it (I call it “Madame Sex” because Tea Leoni is so stinkin sexy).

But if we happen to have an evening alone, we watch our own shows.

For Adam, that included:  Walking Dead, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Better Call Saul

For me:  Downtown Abby, Parenthood, Call the Midwife, and re-watching Gilmore Girls (obviously)

And though we didn’t discover it this year, we really love Raising Hope, which is probably the goofiest show you can watch (perfect for for us since we are award-winning goofballs).

For my three-year-old son, the shows I’ve settled on for him (all on Netflix and less than 30 minutes long) are: Daniel Tiger, Little Einsteins, Handy Manny, Dinosaur Train and Super Why.  (Though I’m certainly not a stranger to letting him watch a 45 minute Bob the Builder or 1-hour Winne the Pooh movie, just for the sake of full-disclosure).

~~~~

I mean it when I say I’d love to meet you in the comments and read some recommendations for any of the above categories! I’m sure with our diverse interests they are bound to appeal to one of us!  

Soon, I’ll be posting some of the more personal and spiritual discoveries I made in 2015, so check back in!

What were you into media-wise in 2015?

Previous Post:  My One Word for 2016 
Next Post:  What No One Told Me About Breastfeeding

Linking up with Emily P. Freeman: What I Learned in 2015 

My smart and talented husband, Adam, agreed to join me in this post to add a more cool/geeky side to my reflective/analytical recommendations of what we have been reading and listening to this year.  We weren't sure if all of these were discoveries for us in 2015, but they were definitely a part of our lives this year.